Negligence refers to when an individual or any other party knowingly causes others to be afflicted by occurrences that would have been avoided. For a case to be identified as negligence a party must have been assigned the duty of managing the risks involved, but instead overlooked them and thus, resulting in injuries and at times deaths of the people under his/her care.
We cannot say that negligence is equivalent to carelessness because in negligence, an individual plays his/her role of cushioning the other parties from the dangers, but the intensity of prevention is partial and thus, it fails to serve its intended role (Deakin et al. 20).
For instance, driving while drunk is being negligent because the drunken motorist is aware of the dangers that are involved with driving while being under the influence of alcohol. However, the same cannot be said about the motorist who caused an accident due to mechanical problem.
Schneider (1) argues that when some people are ignorant they subject innocent people to a lot of suffering, including physical body injuries, loss of property, and loss of lives. In this regard, negligence act is meant to make people pay for their mistake so that next time they will dare to care.
The punishment for being ignorant is administered through monetary fines that are imposed to the accused as compensation to the persons affected by his/her misconduct.
Four elements of this act gauge the validity of cases involving negligence. This is because whenever something happens people always try to put the blame on someone even when it is their fault.
For instance, when an employee operates an equipment without putting on protective clothing that have been provided by the employer, the employer is free from any blame incase of any injury because he/she had done his part of providing the protective gear.
It is therefore important to consult a legal practitioner before filing a lawsuit to identify whether the accused party failed to prevent the incidence from happening.
The first element of negligence act entails identifying the mandate assigned to the accused that would have prevented the incidence from happening. In the mentioned example, the role of the employer is to provide the protective clothing and if he/she failed to do so then he/she has a case to answer. In most working environments the role of preventing harmful events is integrated with work ethics.
The second element involves establishing whether the role of protecting others was performed or not. If the concerned party did not perform the task, then he/she is held responsible for what befell the victims because if he/she followed the required procedures, no one would have been injured or killed.
However, Deakin et al. (20) point out that if the concerned party performed the task of protecting others as required, the charges are withdrawn. This implies that unavoidable circumstances caused the suffering. For instance, if employees had been provided with protective gear, but an earthquake hit the building; that is a natural occurrence beyond human control.
Causation is the third element and it entails establishing the connection between the offence committed by the accused party and the suffering experienced by the victim. This suggests that if the accused had not ignored his/her task, no one would have suffered. However, if the suffering experienced by the complainant was not caused by the ignorance of the accused party, then the charges cannot be filed.
Additionally, there must be valid proof of suffering such physical body damages or the damaged property and in fact, this constitutes the fourth element of negligence that is outcome of negligence. At times, it is important to present certified medical reports that verify the bodily harm caused to the victim.
If there are any persons who lost lives, their death certificates must also be presented. These documents are necessary when requesting for compensation because they act as evidence of what happened, otherwise without valid proof it would be difficult to win such cases.
Schneider, Steve. Negligence Torts. About.com. n.d. Web. 5 June 2011.
Deakin, Simon, Johnston Angusi, and Markesinis Basil. Markesini’s and Deakin’s Tort Law. London: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.